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SAAD veggie grower trades pickles, plant-based meatballs to earn extra income

Juvy Albiar, or Manang Juvy as she is fondly called by her family and friends considers farming as her bread and butter. Nestled in a far-flung village of Agpangi in Calatrava, Negros Occidental, Manang Juvy grew up accustomed to farmwork, and now with two (2) children, she oversees their half-hectare farmland while her husband works overseas. She built a small vegetable garden allotting her harvests to home consumption.

In 2019, she joined a group of vegetable cultivators with the aim of contributing to product consolidation in their village. Assisted by the Municipal Agriculture Office (MAO), they mobilized 60 farmers to form the Agpangi Nalikban Vegetables Growers’ Association (ANVEGA). Most ANVEGA farmers tend small-scale vegetable gardens, while others are engaged in swine and native chicken production. 

In 2020, Calatrava MAO called for a town-wide meeting and orientation for the Department of Agriculture – Special Area for Agricultural Development (DA-SAAD) Program. ANVEGA officers, including Manang Juvy who was then its treasurer, attended the activity in hopes of accessing farming assistance.

Sa nahibal-an namon ang bahin sa SAAD, interesado kami nga moapil tungod kay ang among grupo wala pa makadawat mga proyekto sa gobyerno. Pinaagi sa tabang sa MAO sa amoang lungsod, swerte nga kami napili isip usa sa mga benepisyaryo. Gani, kami naga pasalamat kay dako ni nga tabang para namo” (When we learned about SAAD, we were interested to join since our group has yet to receive government projects. Through the assistance of MAO in our town, luckily, we were selected as beneficiaries. We are thankful because it is a big help to us), said Manang Juvy. 

ANVEGA’s inclusion in SAAD Program

In 2021, the ANVEGA received a Vegetable Production package worth Php 257,460.42 from the Program after a community needs assessment. The project is composed of vegetable seeds and farming tools and supplies. 

Without a communal area to build a vegetable garden, the members initially agreed to distribute the inputs to 30 first-line members chosen for backyard cultivation. Another wave of vegetable production support was granted in 2022 with the same inputs and an additional communal greenhouse facility worth Php 616,004 to support the group’s plan to increase harvest and produce vegetables all year round.

This time, 30 new beneficiaries benefitted from the second wave of inputs and are required to return a 10% share of their profit to the association. ANVEGA’s selection process involves an assessment of each member’s capability to manage the project such as the availability of gardening area. 

Albiar’s project implementation

Manang Juvy was among the members who received the second wave of inputs in 2022. “Bilang usa ka housewife nga nananom ug utanon para extra income, ang mga gamit sa uma, mga binhi ug mga abono nga gihatag kanamo sa SAAD Program dako kaayog tabang sa akong pag-panguma. Naminusan nako ang akong gasto sa produksiyon ug mitaas gyud ang akong ani nga nabaligya nako ug nakakuha kita” (As a housewife who grows vegetables for extra income, the farm tools, seeds, and fertilizers given to us by the SAAD Program were all a big help to my farming activity. My expenses in production were reduced and my harvest increased which enabled me to sell and earn), she shared.

Table 1. FY 2022 Vegetable Production Project allotted to Manang Juvy

Agricultural Inputs 


Unit of Measure

Cucumber Seeds


70 seeds/pack

Eggplant Seeds


300 seeds/pack

Hot Pepper Seeds


70 seeds/pack

Triple 14


Organic Fertilizer





Seedling Tray


Pronged Rake


Plastic Crates






After land preparation,  Manang Juvy was able to plant the seeds on her 0.5-hectare farm early in March 2022. Together with ANVEGA members, she likewise received capacity-building and technical training on vegetable production and enterprise development discussing farm practices for efficient food production.

From March to April 2022, Manang Juvy earned Php 28,100 gross income after harvesting a total combined 785 kilograms (kg) of eggplant, hot peppers, and cucumbers (Table 2). She saved up from hauling expenses since she sells her produce to a vegetable trader who consolidates fresh produce in their barangay bringing these to the town market or the neighboring city of San Carlos.  

Table 2. Manang Juvy’s Vegetable Harvest and Income 


Planting Cycle Total harvest
Total harvest sold

Gross Income

Cucumber (45 days) 

March-April 2022


300  30.00


Hot Pepper 

March-May 2022


85  60.00



March – May 2022


400  35.00




785  125.00


Towards Community-Based Enterprise 

Manang Juvy came up with an idea to prolong the shelf life of perishable produce, and enhance and add value to her raw vegetable harvests using the knowledge she gained from SAAD’s Value-Adding Training on Vegetable Processing. She decided to venture into vegetable pickling and vegetable meatball creation using the surplus of her harvest. 

Bilang usa ka mag-uuma ug ginang sa balay, nanginahanglan ko og dugang nga kita mao nga gisulayan nako ang paghimo og vegetable pickles ug meatballs. So sang akon na try, ning click man sya (As a farmer and housewife, I needed extra income so I tried making vegetable pickles and meatballs. So when I tried, my products clicked), shared Manang Juvy. 

In combination with breadcrumbs, cheese and a small portion of meat, roasted eggplants are the base of Manang Juvy’s meatballs made into bite-sized pieces for easier consumption. 

Luwas sa pagpamaligya ug presko nga utanon, nag-pagproseso man ko sa akong mga ani aron makakuha og dugang kita. Tungod kay nahibal-an nako nga kung maghimo ako usa ka bag-ong produkto ug mahimo nako ibaligya ang akong produkto sa labi ka taas nga presyo(Aside from trading fresh vegetables, I ventured into processing my harvested crops for additional income. Because I know that if I do value-adding, I will produce a new product and sell these at a higher price), added Manang Juvy. 

Table 3. Manang Juvy’s income from value-added products

Product Quantity  Price 

Gross Income

Vegetable pickles  10 jars  30.00 300.00
Eggplant-cheese balls  20 packs  50.00  1,000.00
Total 1,300.00

On her first try, Manang Juvy sold 10 jars of vegetable pickles worth Php 30 each and 20 packs (8 pieces) of eggplant with cheese filling balls with Php 50 each. For this, she earned a gross income worth Php 1,300 offering the products to her neighbors and to the town market.

Kinahanglan ko gid ug budget para magpalit ug ingredients nga uban. Tapos time and effort kung magbuhat ka products – kinahanglan naka-focus gyud ka kay sa akoa pud as a mother with two kids, budlay gyud mag-focus kay naa pa koy kahayupan. So kinahanglan mag-allot jud time ug effort” (I really need the budget to buy other ingredients. Then, time and effort are required when creating products – you need to be focused because for me as a mother with two kids I find it difficult to focus since I also tend to my animals. So you need to allot time and effort), said Manang Juvy. 

To sustain her production, Manang Juvy used her savings from vegetable and value-adding income to buy additional 30 packs each of squash, cucumber, and string bean seeds. Preparing her garden in March, she expects that harvest season may fall by the end of April. 

Kung magmalampuson ang akong pag-ani sini nga cropping season, nagplano ako nga maghimo naman usa ka batch sang akong mga value-added products” (If ever my harvest would be successful, I am planning to make another batch of value-added products), said Manang Juvy. 

According to Manang Juvy, she looks forward to producing more pickles and veggie-balls as well as improving the packaging and labeling of her products. To gain more buyers, she also created a Facebook page where she can advertise her processed goods. Some ANVEGA members were also encouraged to process their harvested crops after seeing the good outcome of Manang Juvy’s flourishing enterprise. 

ANVEGA’s vegetable production venture

ANVEGA reported Php 115,000 worth of accumulated savings for three (3) years of managing SAAD’s vegetable production project. They are utilizing their fund to procure vegetable seeds, farm tools, and organic fertilizers to sustain their production. 

In July 2022, ANVEGA farmers cultivated bell peppers at their communal greenhouse facility measuring about 197.4 square meters. After five (5) months, the group harvested 109kg and sold it for Php 80/kg, recording a Php 8,720 gross income. They deducted their expenses from labor fees for land preparation and dividends intended for each member which amounted to Php 5,500. Finally, the association recorded a Php 3,220 income allotted as group savings.

Ways Forward 

With the closure of SAAD Program Phase 1 implementation in the town of Calatrava, ANVEGA aims to be a financially-stable entrepreneurial vegetable growers and traders. In December last year,  provincial implementers endorsed ANVEGA to the High-Value Crops Section of the Municipal Agriculture Office in Calatrava for continued livelihood support and monitoring from the municipality and other concerned agencies. To further their vegetable production, the group plans to take two huge steps: first is to establish a consolidation center or bagsakan wherein they could sell their fresh produce as well as processed products; and second is to turn their association into a cooperative since more farmers expressed their interest in joining ANVEGA to replicate their vegetable venture. ###


Writer: Christ John B. Gamarcha, DA-SAAD 6 Information Officer

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Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD) Program Online ISSN: 2718-9791
Published by the SAAD National Program Management Office Editorial Board

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